Wednesday, February 03, 2010


A new diagnostic test, which gives breeders the ability to eradicate Foal Immunodeficiency Syndrome, was launched on 1 February by UK scientists.

Foal Immunodeficiency Syndrome (FIS), a genetic disorder which is known to affect Fell and Dales ponies, causes foals to become anaemic and prone to opportunistic infections. Sadly, any foal born with the syndrome will not survive.

The DNA test, which costs £40, will not only identify foals which have the fatal condition but will highlight adult ponies who are carriers of the genetic trait which causes the syndrome. Affected foals will be prevented by avoiding breeding a carrier mare with a carrier stallion.

Owners and breeders who wish to find out the genetic status of their ponies can arrange for a simple pulled mane or tail hair sample to be taken by a vet and submitted to the Animal Health Trust. The Fell Pony or Dales Pony Societies will supply sample bags for submission on request.

Dr. June Swinburne of the AHT, who led the research team, said: “The DNA test gives owners and breeders the power to overcome this devastating illness. It enables them to make informed decisions about which ponies to breed. We have already had samples submitted by HM The Queen from her own breeding stock of Fell ponies. I’d urge any breeders of Fell or Dales ponies to submit samples in order to arm themselves with the facts they need to prevent the birth of affected foals and thereby avoid this distressing condition.”

For more information on testing, owners should contact the Fell or Dales Pony Societies.
Alternatively visit the AHT website or email

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It's very important to make have these tests now as it could help us prevent unpleasant surprises.
Very good for breeders to use modern ways!
If it could help I think the site cought my attention.